Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease
12th Annual Conference at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
The Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases are all very interesting, but you should also be aware that northern Colorado is worth staying for a couple of extra days. Fort Collins has some great brunch places e.g., Silver Grill, Lucille’s, Choice City, and some even better local breweries e.g., New Belgium (maker of Fat Tire), Odell and Equinox. If you want to get around town, you can take advantage of the Bike Library and bike to the brewery, or along the Poudre River, or to other local institutions like The Forge, Avogadro’s, Social.
Near town is the Pawnee National Grassland – site of some of the most amazing plague ecology research to be done, ummm, at that site. The Pawnee Buttes are a little further away (90 minutes ish), but June is a great time to be on the prairie and on the lookout for pronghorn, prairie dogs, rattlesnakes and local birdlife. To the north-west of town is the Cache la Poudre – a scenic river that in June will be around peak flow for white water rafting, and has great hiking. Grey Rock (pretty vertical) or Hewlett Gulch (pretty flat) are hikes at the eastern end of the Canyon, (i.e., nearer town and about 20 minutes drive), or you can drive to Cameron Pass and walk in the high country, looking out for bighorn sheep on the drive. Moose are commonly seen west of Cameron Pass.
Rocky Mountain National Park is an hour to the southwest and is stunning. Trail Ridge road will be open by early June, and offers terrific access to high Rocky Mountain tundra (the road’s maximum elevation is 12,183ft) and sightings of elk, bighorn sheep, pika, wildflowers, and the rest of the park is spectacular too.
Other things to be aware of: If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes… Fort Collins is high up (round about 5000ft) and the weather can be unpredictable. On average, highs will be in the 70s & 80s (Farenheit), and lows will be in the 50s. The nearby mountains will be cooler. Because you will be at a high elevation, make sure to drink plenty of water during your stay and for a couple of days before you arrive. This will help alleviate any physiological response you might have to the elevation. We look forward to seeing each of you here, and to helping you have a great time while you're in Colorado.